Death and Aging: Seeking Your Best HealthSacramento, CA- I didn’t endure 5 years of Naturopathic medical school just to help patients not be sick or physically dead, but more importantly, to inspire patients to live up to their greatest health and joy potential. I love the quote from Deuteronomy: quote, “I put before you life and death, choose life.” The World Health Organization says: “Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well being, and not the mere absence of disease.” Depending on which researcher you talk to, for those Americans reaching 85 years of age, 35-50% will end up with Alzheimer’s disease. I don’t know about you, but reaching a point of having no memory is not my idea of the “Golden Years.” According to Dale Bredesen, MD, in his book, The End of Alzheimer’s, the good news is that Alzheimer’s can be prevented, and even reversed. It is never too late for you to start seeking your best health, and to stop or reverse aging, although the sooner you start the better. Aging rapidly or slowly is a choice for most Americans. Every day, a person makes dozens to hundreds of decisions that will either speed up the aging process or slow it down. If you would like to slow, stop or reverse the aging process – you have to first know and understand that you are in control of much of your destiny. While you can’t control your genes and chronological age, just about everything else is within your control. It is your choice. Secondly, you can use your lifestyle as a weapon on your behalf, instead of it being a liability. Some of the questions I would ask you as a naturopathic doctor are (without judgment of course):
1. Your WhyWhat is your strongest WHY to get and stay healthy? Because, as Viktor Frankl said, if you have a strong enough WHY, you will more than likely be able to take any HOW. A few of my personal whys are to help Naturopathic Doctors to get licensed in all 50 US states, and to swim with my grandkids in many of the beautiful lakes of North America (even though I don’t have any grandkids yet). What is your why? Is it to travel with your loved ones all over Europe? Is it to write a book?
2. GratitudeDo you have gratitude even on the most difficult of days, or are you bitter about the way life has turned out for you?
3. NutritionWhat information do you give your body, in the form of food, multiple times a day? Do you eat blueberries or blueberry cheesecake? Do you eat food made at home from scratch or from fast food restaurants?
4. Exercise/MovementDo you exercise on a regular schedule? Does your job involve mostly sitting or moving? Do you have an active or mostly sedentary lifestyle?
5. StressHow are your relationships? Are they enriching or stressful? Is your work or retirement satisfying? Are you a perfectionist? Do you accept responsibility for conflicts for which you have contributed? Are you healthy emotionally? Psychologically? Do you volunteer? Do you contribute to your community?
6. SleepDo you sleep well and long enough? Are you rested when you get up? Is your sleep interrupted?
7. ToxinsDo you know your daily exposure to the tens of thousands of toxic chemicals in our daily world: i.e. your personal care products like make-up, body lotions and potions; mold; lead and arsenic in the water; mercury in the fish we eat and the fillings in our mouths; pesticides on our foods, phthalates in plastic, etc.
8. WaterDo you drink enough water each day? Is it filtered water that takes out dozens of chemicals that are in our water? Do you drink water from plastic bottles? Are you overexposed to electromagnetic radiation?
9. NatureDo you take Vitamin N (Nature)? Do you hike or get outdoors?
10. Vitamin D and other lab testsDo you know what your vitamin D level is? 100% of the patients that come to my Naturopathic office are deficient unless they are taking a dedicated Vitamin D (add Vitamin K2 also). If you want to prevent cold/flu this winter, and other chronic diseases, make sure your Vitamin D is between 50 – 90 on the standard blood test. Do you get your blood tested regularly? Does your doctor look at your lab results from the standard reference range or from the optimal (healthy) range? If you don’t know, please ask. For example, the TSH standard range is 0.3 to 4.5 or sometimes even 0.1 to 5.5. The naturopathic range is 1-2. I would recommend that you ask yourself how important it is for you to stay energetic, vital, and enthusiastic for your loved ones and community. Do you want to inspire your grandchildren, others in your circle of influence, and possibly even people you don’t currently know? Do you realize how much difference you can make in your community? If we did realize, we would take much better care of ourselves. So now that you know, what aging attitude will you adopt? Will it be that aging is inevitable and you will accept whatever degenerative diseases and suffering comes your way, or you will seek the Jack LaLanne route of living your life to the end with: energy, inspiration, hope and joy?
Dr. Dennis Godby, Naturopathic Doctor, Sutter Medical Foundation. He may be reached online or at his Sacramento Office (916) 446-2591.